[CASE] Trustco Group Holdings Ltd uses Dr.Explain to combine User Documentation, Technical Documentation, and Change Management in one place
David Swindon, CIO of Trustco Group Holdings, tells us why Wiki and Microsoft Word were not enough to produce documentation, as compared to Dr.Explain.
DE: What kind of services does your company provide?
Trustco Group Holdings (tgh.na) is an entrepreneurial company, with a focus on Banking, Finance, Insurance, and Investments to name a few.
With our roots firmly in Namibia and our reach extended into the rest of Africa and the emerging markets beyond, we seek to generate above-average growth over time to create wealth for our shareholders, customers, and employees, while impacting positively on society and our planet.
We provide efficient and dynamic services to our core industries, ensuring responsible and sustainable growth that will have a positive impact on society and our environment. We embrace technology to facilitate innovative and affordable solutions in each of our segments. We are accountable to all stakeholders to deliver value and sustainable returns on their investments. We value our employees and recognise their intellectual value and commitment as an important component of our success.
DE: What is your main responsibility in the company?
I am David Swindon, the Chief Information Officer of Trustco Group Holdings. My core responsibilities include oversight and governance of the IT landscape in Trustco, and I have an intrinsic interest/involvement in the management of the IT Software Development division within the group. Here we innovate and build solutions to empower the business we serve to be effective in all the tiers of operations.
DE: Why do you care about writing good user help files?
User documentation, along with other documentation to record the various aspects of business, is a cornerstone to allow the effective retention of knowledge, transmitting thereof in different mediums and empowering the end user and business to have a ready reference of the documented processes, procedures, and application functions in an easy-to-find manner.
DE: Why didn’t the old approach work for you?
What we needed was a process in which we could easily document the requirements for systems and processes at various levels to allow us to use a single repository of consolidated information for the specific project we worked on. Previously we had used other methods like Wiki and Microsoft Word, which worked well but fell short or needed to be reworked to produce the information in the PDF, CHM, or Web formats.
DE: Did you try other help authoring solutions in the market besides Dr.Explain?
There are other solutions in the market. At the time we took a decision we needed to easily do screenshots and enumeration of the controls directly from the application for documentation purposes, create help, and put the CHM tags in our programs. There was not much in the market at the time that had this kind of power and easiness that Dr.Explain had.
Dr.Explain allows us to combine User Documentation, Technical Documentation, and Change Management in one place. You have the option to simply flag the root nodes to be hidden and then produce the documentation to only include what is visible. Everything in one place means that we have a comprehensive master document per project.
DE: Why did Dr.Explain become an ultimate solution for you?
We chose Dr.Explain because it is comprehensive and intuitive to use. It has lots of flexibility and powerful features for our needs. The feedback and support from the developers are helpful and prompt. This is important to us.
DE: Are you satisfied with your choice?
We are able to create embedded, relevant help in our applications, using the same base. We can produce PDF documentation and manuals, and also create an online repository of materials for users to understand the system.
For new staff and cross training the information is consistent, and if anyone needs to get a refresher, it is easy for them to refer back without intimidation of not understanding it correctly the first time round. For governance and reporting, for change management, all the information is ready and available to produce any output. We love the variables in Dr.Explain as they allow us to version our documentation in one place. The users can easily see if they are looking at the latest version of the document.
DE: Could you suggest any improvement ideas for Dr.Explain?
We really enjoy using this product, and embedding videos and links into social media is a big plus! We can tweak the HTML to our needs.
I would love to see the ability to embed documents in the program, so that we could include objects like Visio diagrams etc. Further, it would be great to have one Dr.Explain File document node reference another File node in another document, so that when it creates the output, it is consolidated to provide more reusability in the standards and common items that we create.
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For more information about the company, please visit the Trustco Group Holdings website at tgh.na.